Yesterday, Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois democrat, offered an apology for his recent outrageous remarks on the Senate floor in which he equated the treatment of terrorist captives at Guantanamo Bay by American troops with the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, Hitler’s death camps and Russian gulags.
In the brief clip shown on TV news, Durbin seemed sincere in his apology, and to give credit where it is due, we must acknowledge that he finally did the right thing in offering the apology. We must at the same time, however, recognize that the level of contriteness of the apology does not even approach the level of disgust and harm caused by the repulsive and fallacious accusations he fired at American troops.
The apology is a good first step, albeit a small one. Sen. Durbin, like Sen. Trent Lott, whose sin was far less serious than Sen. Durbin’s, was asked by his own party to resign his position as Majority Leader because of his indiscretion. Richard Durbin committed a far greater sin, and his party ought to be demanding at the very least that he resign his Minority Whip position.
As I said earlier, I believe what Sen. Durbin did has fanned the flames of the rabid fanatic Muslims and their mindless hatred of America, and has made it more dangerous for Americans around the world, and especially for American troops. His subversive comments violated his duty of loyalty to his country and bolstered the enemy in a time of war, and that amounts to sedition and treason.
It has become fashionable of late for people who disagree with the Bush administration to use comparisons that appeal to the emotions of Americans in a cheap attempt to broaden the opposition to the Iraq war and other administration policies for reasons no more important that to score political points. Such crude and thoughtless behavior is demeaning to not only to those who indulge in it, but to their targets and to our nation. When those comparisons have the effect of lending credence to the false perceptions held by the enemy, thus strengthening the enemy’s determination, as Sen. Durbin’s comments have, that outrageous and dangerous conduct cannot be undone by a mere apology.Richard Durbin must resign from the Senate or be thrown out of the Senate, and prosecuted for his crimes. It is time for this type of behavior to earn the appropriate response for the perpetrators.